Gone Girl

Gone Girl

by

Gillian Flynn

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Desi Collings Character Analysis

Amy’s ex-boyfriend from boarding school. A prim and proper “dandy” of a man who appreciates the finer things in life, Desi was accused of having a fatal attraction to Amy and attempting suicide in her dorm room when she tried to end things with him in their youth. It is eventually revealed that this never happened—but that Desi has remained obsessed with Amy over the years, and she has stoked his attention by writing him clandestine letters. When Amy loses all of her money while in hiding after being robbed by Greta and Jeff, she calls upon Desi, whom she knows will relish the prospect of finally being her “savior.” Desi brings Amy to live at his lake house, where he can care for her and shelter her—but Desi’s romantic obsession with Amy is actually just as dangerous as in the stories she invented about him, and she soon realizes that she is Desi’s prisoner. Amy concocts a plan to free herself from Desi, carefully constructing things to make it look as if Desi was the one who kidnapped her to begin with, and like she seized her first opportunity to kill the brutal captor who had kept her tied up in bed for months on end.

Desi Collings Quotes in Gone Girl

The Gone Girl quotes below are all either spoken by Desi Collings or refer to Desi Collings. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Crown Publishers edition of Gone Girl published in 2012.
53. Nick Dunne, Forty Days Gone Quotes

I gestured to the twine, the hacked hair, the dried blood. “So, what’s your story, wife?”

“I’m back,” she whimpered. “I made it back to you.” She moved to put her arms around me. I moved away.

“What is your story, Amy?”

“Desi,” she whispered, her lower lip trembling. “Desi Collings took me. It was the morning. Of. Of our anniversary. And the doorbell rang, and I thought... I don’t know, I thought maybe it was flowers from you.”

I flinched. Of course she’d find a way to work in a gripe: that I hardly ever sent her flowers, when her dad had sent her mom flowers each week since they’d been married. That’s 2,444 bouquets of flowers vs. 4.

Related Characters: Nick Dunne (speaker), Amy Elliott Dunne (speaker), Desi Collings
Page Number: 372
Explanation and Analysis:
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Desi Collings Character Timeline in Gone Girl

The timeline below shows where the character Desi Collings appears in Gone Girl. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
11. Nick Dunne, One Day Gone (2)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Misogyny Theme Icon
Another of Amy’s stalkers was her boarding-school boyfriend Desi Collings, a wealthy classmate who approached his relationship with Amy with too much intensity, and... (full context)
15. Nick Dunne, Three Days Gone
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...drive there himself and check things out. He agrees, and even volunteers to stop at Desi Collings’s place in St. Louis on the way back. When Stucks approaches Nick and tells... (full context)
17. Nick Dunne, Four Days Gone (1)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
...aloud what Amy could have been afraid of, and Nick suggests perhaps Amy was afraid Desi would come looking for her. Rand says he never liked Desi, who was always “possessive”... (full context)
21. Nick Dunne, Five Days Gone (1)
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Misogyny Theme Icon
...do something “useful,” gets in his car and drives to St. Louis to track down Desi Collings. As he approaches Desi’s neighborhood, he realizes that the man is “extremely, sickly wealthy”... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
As Desi describes his relationship with Amy—in which he basked in her attention in its early stages,... (full context)
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Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
As the conversation goes on, Desi admits to having written Amy letters over the years. Jacqueline praises them for sustaining the... (full context)
23. Nick Dunne, Five Days Gone (2)
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Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
As he leaves Desi’s house, Nick gets a voicemail from Gilpin asking him to meet the detectives at his... (full context)
44. Amy Elliott Dunne, Ten Days Gone (1)
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Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
...As she waits at the bar, she grows anxious, and is about to leave when Desi Collings walks up and greets her. (full context)
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Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
Amy has called her “devoted Desi” to her aid. They have never quite lost touch, and in spite of what Amy... (full context)
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Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
Desi is full of rage towards Nick, and agrees to keep Amy hidden from him. Desi... (full context)
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Desi tells Amy he’ll do whatever he can to shield her from the world—he’ll even flee... (full context)
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On the way out of the casino, Amy and Desi pass by a TV—on it, Andie, “the slut,” is holding a press conference. Dressed conservatively... (full context)
46. Amy Elliott Dunne, Ten Days Gone (2)
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Amy and Desi arrive at his grandiose, secluded lake house, and Desi gives Amy the grand tour. The... (full context)
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Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
As the piece de resistance, Desi shows Amy to an elaborate greenhouse—which he has had filled with tulips, Amy’s favorite flower.... (full context)
48. Amy Elliott Dunne, Eleven Days Gone
Misogyny Theme Icon
...in to watch Nick’s Sharon Schieber interview. She wishes she could watch it alone, but Desi will not leave her side. Though Desi brings Amy fine groceries and delicious wine, she... (full context)
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Marriage Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
...he describes what a bad husband he was, and how much he wants Amy back. Desi offers snarky remarks at everything Nick says, but Amy is totally sucked in by Nick’s... (full context)
50. Amy Elliott Dunne, Twenty-Six Days Gone
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Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
Amy is growing tired and wary of Desi, who is constantly trying to remind her how safe and loved she is—though she doesn’t... (full context)
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Desi comes daily to bring Amy lunch—small portions of fruit and seafood designed to force her... (full context)
52. Amy Elliott Dunne, Forty Days Gone
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...twine and an empty wine bottle, she prepares for the task ahead of her. When Desi arrives after lunch, Amy is dressed in a pink dress he’s bought her, and is... (full context)
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Desperate to get the act over with, Amy pushes herself on Desi, seducing him and begging him to take her to the bedroom. On the bed, Desi... (full context)
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Once Desi finishes, Amy insists he stay in bed while she fixes them a post-coital drink. She... (full context)
53. Nick Dunne, Forty Days Gone
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Marriage Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
...Unimpressed, Nick asks her what her “story” is. Amy trembles as she tells Nick that Desi Collings took her on the morning of their anniversary. She says she was holding the... (full context)
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Marriage Theme Icon
Misogyny Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
...replies that she didn’t know about Andie until she saw it on TV, tied to Desi’s bed, his prisoner at the lake house. Nick asks Amy why all the clues led... (full context)
54. Amy Elliott Dunne, The Night of the Return (1)
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Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
...body—a “textbook” example of a rape victim. Amy knows that when the police arrive at Desi’s lake house they’ll find him “naked and drained” in a bed soaked with Amy’s blood. (full context)
55. Nick Dunne, The Night of the Return (1)
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...drinking champagne and discussing the harrowing details of Amy’s ordeal, discussing how she escaped from Desi’s clutches by slashing his throat with a steak knife. Nick alone sees how absurd the... (full context)
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...who killed her son is. She tells anyone who will listen—the press included—that Amy murdered Desi in cold blood, and is lying about her entire story. No one heeds her, though,... (full context)
58. Amy Elliott Dunne, Five Days After the Return
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...story for the possibility that Jeff and Greta might come nosing around, telling police that Desi kept her tied up in some sort of motel for days. She’s done all she... (full context)
59. Nick Dunne, Thirty Days After the Return
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...and expresses her frustration at being unable to prove that Amy framed Nick and murdered Desi. The word, though has come down from “on high”—Boney needs to shut the case down.... (full context)